How Often Can You File for Bankruptcy?


Quick Answer

Bankruptcy law does not establish a minimum time frame before an individual can file for bankruptcy again, according to NOLO. However, filing too soon after a discharge was received means the individual cannot receive another discharge.

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Full Answer

Bankruptcy law is not written to limit how many times an individual can file for bankruptcy, but instead is written to dictate how often someone can receive a discharge of bankruptcy, indicates NOLO.

If an individual files for Chapter 7, he cannot receive a second discharge in a Chapter 7 case until eight years from the date the first discharge was filed. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings, an individual cannot receive a second Chapter 13 discharge within two years of the first bankruptcy discharge.

If an individual wants to file Chapter 7 after already receiving a Chapter 13 discharge, he cannot receive a discharge under Chapter 7 within six years from the date the Chapter 13 discharge was filed. There are a couple of exceptions to this waiting period, however. First, the individual needs to have paid all unsecured creditors in full under the Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or paid 70 percent of the claims providing that plan was made in good faith and he made his best effort, indicates NOLO. For filing a Chapter 13 after receiving a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an individual cannot receive a Chapter 13 discharge within four years from the date the Chapter 7 discharge was filed,.

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